40th Parliament, 2nd Session
Context : Introduction of Private Members' Bills

Bill C-313. Introduction and first reading

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-313, An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Flag Day).

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise to move this bill which would create a national flag day holiday. I would like to express my thanks to the hardworking former member for Vancouver Island North, Catherine Bell.

The bill would create a legal holiday around flag day in February, something that does not exist yet. It is acknowledged as a holiday but there is no legal weight behind it.

Canadian families are working harder for less money. They earn less now than they did 20 years ago, and they are working more overtime hours.

To create a legal holiday in February to acknowledge the pride that Canadians feel about their flag and their country would be a way for families to get together and celebrate the Confederation of which we are all so proud.

I am honoured to move the bill forward to create a national flag day holiday for Canada's maple leaf flag.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

OTTAWA – Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster) today introduced a Private Member’s Bill that would celebrate our flag with a national holiday. An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Flag Day) would designate the fifteenth day of February in each and every year as “Flag Day.”

“Our other important national holiday, Canada Day, is focused on the creation of Canada and celebrates its independence, but a National Flag day would allow for reflection on what that independence means, given how Canadian society has changed and continues to evolve since the flag was adopted”, said Julian.

February 15th was declared National Flag Day by Parliament in 1996 to commemorate the day in 1965 when the current Canadian flag was first raised over Parliament Hill in Ottawa. However, the day is not currently a full legal holiday. There are very few countries today in the world without a national flag day. A full holiday on National Flag Day would encourage real reflection over the meaning of the Canadian flag and the deeper meaning of what it means to be Canadian.

“I have the honour of presenting this Private Member’s Bill. The Canadian flag came much later than Confederation and it is important to recognize this. The privileges and responsibilities of living in such a great country, symbolized in the flag, are an important reason to pause and reflect as a nation.”



OTTAWA – Peter Julian, député de Burnaby-New Westminster, a déposé aujourd’hui à la Chambre des communes un projet de loi d’initiative parlementaire, Loi modifiant la Loi instituant des jours de fête légale (Jour du drapeau), qui vise à faire du 15 février, « Jour du drapeau », un jour férié.

« La fête du Canada, en tant que jour férié, marque la création du Canada et célèbre son indépendance. Le Jour du drapeau, quant à lui, serait l’occasion de réfléchir à ce que signifie cette indépendance, car la société canadienne a évolué, et continue d’évoluer depuis que ce drapeau a été adopté. »

En 1996, le Parlement a déclaré le 15 février Journée du drapeau national afin de commémorer le jour où, en 1965, le drapeau canadien actuel a été pour la première fois hissé sur la Colline du Parlement à Ottawa. Mais cette journée n’est pas un jour férié légal. Rares sont les pays qui n’ont pas leur journée du drapeau national. Faire du Jour du drapeau un jour férié à part entière favoriserait une réflexion sur ce que symbolise ce drapeau, et sur ce que cela signifie d’être canadien.

« C’est un honneur pour moi de présenter ce projet de loi. Le drapeau canadien est beaucoup plus récent que la Confédération, et il est important de le souligner. Les privilèges et les avantages associés au fait de vivre dans notre grand pays, que symbolise ce drapeau, méritent que l’ont prenne le temps d’y réfléchir en tant que nation.»